The first anniversary I spent without my husband was April 1, 2006. So today is 16 years and that is exactly as long as we would have been married on that first, horrible, April Fools Day.
I’m having all kinds of feels today. Not really sad, more astonished by the fact (FACT) that he has been gone so long and that I have lived without him. I lay in bed this morning just wondering how my life would be different if he hadn’t died, and I don’t often go there because it can begin a race down any number of rabbit holes. It really didn’t today. I was petting my cat and realized I wouldn’t have the cat because of Tom’s allergies.
I could do without the cat, was my thought. Followed by the reality that I do have a cat and this is what my life is. I have no other.
Big things are up for me. I just returned from a trip to the outlaying areas of Seattle. Spent time with wonderful friends, vaccinated and unmasked (heavenly). But I am looking for a place to go, move, “next chapter”. I have no real reason to stay in L.A. any longer and so….where? Then I come up against today and wonder “why” instead.
Why’s are not a good place for me to be.
I have a tenuous relationship with life. I don’t want to necessarily die. I’m worried about the reality of that because I am alone and will I need help, etc…all of that stuff. But I also don’t really care. Many times I can’t find anything that gives me joy or impetus to keep on living. Thats one reason this year has been particularly hard for me. I like to have things to look forward to, a trip, a dinner party, a lunch with a friend, and a nebulous and unknown some day in the future return to some sort of normal was decidedly not doing it for me. I was so lonely and had to face the facts about my relationships with people and my unwillingness to deepen connections out of my own fears. I need goals and I had none. A goal to move away, to start again, meet new people and hopefully forge new friendships …that’s big. That could keep me going for a while.
Washington state has nature and seasons (MILD ones) and good friends. A little beauty could go a long way, and it is beautiful there. The drives we took, the postcards I felt I was stepping into ! Of course I was disappointed to see how prices are rising everywhere… don’t know why I thought I could spend less money for rent on a 2 bedroom place (office, yoga space, guests). That’s not gonna happen. But there are possibilities and it is really intimidating and interesting at the same time. Both/And.
A little intimidation is good. That forward movement, that looking towards something that makes life exciting, worth living. But it’s also scary and I’m not young and, and, and…
I keep saying I don’t need to decide right now, but I actually do. I need to start planning on so many levels, tying up loose ends and figuring out new possibilities. I also know I have to get some trust going in there, because, through it all I have begun to trust that something has my back. I like to think it’s Tom, because there are so many tangible ways that he actually still does. But it is deeper and I am grateful for that because I think that’s what sustains me in the worst of times. There is a connection to my dharma, my usefulness and work in this world that I don’t think is done yet. It’s probably just as simple as “how can I help?”
This year has taught me I can lead yoga classes, be politically active, be with those friends who I do have deep connection with, hang with my son, take classes with my teacher and who knows what else, all online. It’s not perfect but it is doable. I can also travel from any hub in the US and when Canada opens up I have online friends there to visit. I’ve learned that I do crave nature, beauty, starry nights and being amidst it vs. having to travel to it. I love my planted cacti on my little balcony, but I want trees and flowers and water, close.
Life can change in an instant. It did 15 years ago, in a shocking and unsettling way. It can also change in, if not joyful, at least sweet, beautiful and new ways. I think of Tom today and wonder where we would be right now…still here? Maybe in Minnesota (YIKES!)? Even if we’d still be together, I mean, who knows? I think about it for only a minute because THIS is my life now, I have no other, and what will I do with what remains of it. That is MY question, one no one can answer for me.
I think writing a new chapter is appealing and exciting and challenging and frightening.
And since I’ve finished Netflix this year, why not?